Luke 15:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!

New Living Translation
"When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, 'At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger!

English Standard Version
“But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger!

New American Standard Bible
"But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger!

King James Bible
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

Holman Christian Standard Bible
When he came to his senses, he said, How many of my father's hired hands have more than enough food, and here I am dying of hunger!

International Standard Version
"Then he came to his senses and said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more food than they can eat, and here I am starving to death!

NET Bible
But when he came to his senses he said, 'How many of my father's hired workers have food enough to spare, but here I am dying from hunger!

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And when he came to himself, he said, 'Now, how many hired servants are in my father's house who have plenteous bread for themselves, and here I am dying with hunger!'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Finally, he came to his senses. He said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more food than they can eat, while I'm starving to death here?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have abundance of bread, and I perish here with hunger!

King James 2000 Bible
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

American King James Version
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

American Standard Version
But when he came to himself he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish here with hunger!

Douay-Rheims Bible
And returning to himself, he said: How many hired servants in my father's house abound with bread, and I here perish with hunger?

Darby Bible Translation
And coming to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have abundance of bread, and *I* perish here by famine.

English Revised Version
But when he came to himself he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish here with hunger!

Webster's Bible Translation
And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father have bread enough and to spare, and I am perishing with hunger!

Weymouth New Testament
"But on coming to himself he said, "'How many of my father's hired men have more bread than they want, while I here am dying of hunger!

World English Bible
But when he came to himself he said, 'How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough to spare, and I'm dying with hunger!

Young's Literal Translation
'And having come to himself, he said, How many hirelings of my father have a superabundance of bread, and I here with hunger am perishing!
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

15:17-24 Having viewed the prodigal in his abject state of misery, we are next to consider his recovery from it. This begins by his coming to himself. That is a turning point in the sinner's conversion. The Lord opens his eyes, and convinces him of sin; then he views himself and every object, in a different light from what he did before. Thus the convinced sinner perceives that the meanest servant of God is happier than he is. To look unto God as a Father, and our Father, will be of great use in our repentance and return to him. The prodigal arose, nor stopped till he reached his home. Thus the repenting sinner resolutely quits the bondage of Satan and his lusts, and returns to God by prayer, notwithstanding fears and discouragements. The Lord meets him with unexpected tokens of his forgiving love. Again; the reception of the humbled sinner is like that of the prodigal. He is clothed in the robe of the Redeemer's righteousness, made partaker of the Spirit of adoption, prepared by peace of conscience and gospel grace to walk in the ways of holiness, and feasted with Divine consolations. Principles of grace and holiness are wrought in him, to do, as well as to will.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 17. - And when he came to himself. This tardy repentance in the famous parable has been the occasion of many a sneer from the world. Even satiety, even soul-hunger, did not bring the prodigal to penitence; nothing but absolute bodily suffering, cruel hunger, drove him to take the step which in the end saved him. There is no doubt it would have been far more noble on the young man's part if, in the midst of his downhill career, he had suddenly paused, and, with a mighty and continued effort of self-control, had turned to purity, to duty, and to God. Certainly this had been hereto conduct - a term no one would think of applying to anything belonging to the life of the younger son of our story. But though not heroic, is not the conduct of the prodigal just what is of daily occurrence in common life? The world may sneer; but is not such a repentance, after all, a blessed thing? It is a poor mean way, some would tell us, of creeping into heaven; but is it not better to enter into God's city even thus, with bowed head, than not at all? Is it not better to consecrate a few months, or perhaps years, of a wasted life to God's service, to noble generous deeds, to brave attempts to undo past mischief and neglect, than to go sinning on to the bitter end? There is something intensely sorrowful in this consecrating to the Master the end of a sin-worn life; but there is what is infinitely worse. What a deep well, too, of comfort has the Church-taught teacher here to draw from in his weary life-experiences! How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! Among the bitternesses of his present degradation, not the least was the memory of his happy childhood and boyhood in his old home.

"For a sorrow's crown of sorrows
Is remembering happier things."
The family of the prodigal, as we have already remarked, was certainly possessed of wealth, and was probably one of high rank. In the old home there was nothing wanting.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And when he came to himself,.... An unregenerate man, whether while a voluptuous man, or a self-righteous man, is not himself; he is beside himself; and is no other than a madman. The man that pursues his worldly lusts and pleasures, promises himself liberty, while he is a slave; he ruins himself, his soul, body, and estate, and chooses to do it rather than part with his lusts; he takes delight in doing mischief himself, and in seeing it done by others; he proclaims his folly publicly, declares his sin, and glories in it; all which a man in his right mind would never do. The self-righteous person trusts in his own heart, which is the greatest madness and folly in the world; he compasses himself about with sparks of his own kindling, and sacrifices to his own net; he dresses himself in his rags, and pleases and prides himself with them, when a robe of righteousness, and garments of salvation, are provided; which no man in his senses would ever do. But when the Spirit of God comes to work upon a sinner's heart in conversion, he brings him to himself; which a man may be said to be, when he is brought to true evangelical repentance for sin; and that is, when he has a true sense of it, as committed against God, and a godly sorrow for it, and makes an hearty and ingenuous acknowledgment of it, and forsakes it; and when he is brought to a sense of the insufficiency of his own righteousness, and is made willing to part with it, and desires to be found in Christ, and in his righteousness alone, which he is encouraged to lay hold on, and receive by faith, trust to, and rejoice in; when he has his spiritual senses exercised on Christ, and to discern between good and evil; and is brought to the feet of Jesus, as to submit to his righteousness, so to serve him; when he is all this, then, like the man in the Gospel, he is clothed, and in his right mind:

he said, how many hired servants of my father's; who, according to some, were the Scribes and Pharisees, men of a servile disposition, and of mercenary views; and were, by profession, the servants of God, and had plenty of bread, because they had all the external means and ordinances: but these are designed by the elder brother in the parable; and besides, this man had endeavoured to live as they did in this far country. It may be queried, whether the ministers of the Gospel are not intended, since these are the servants of the most high God; are labourers hired by him, and are worthy of their hire, and abound with Gospel provisions for the service of others. But to this it may be objected, the desire of this man to be made as one of them, Luke 15:19 which petition expresses his humility; whereas to be a servant, in this sense, is to have the highest place and office in his father's house. Rather therefore the meanest of the saints, and household of God, are here meant, who have the least degree of evangelical light, whose faith is weak, and their consolation small; and who, though they are sons, yet by reason of that legality and mercenariness that appear in their frames and services, differ little from servants: and yet these, in comparison of him, who was in a hungry and starving condition,

have bread enough, and to spare; as the doctrines, promises, and ordinances of the Gospel, the fulness of grace that is in Christ, and Christ himself the bread of life; which are more than enough for them, and sufficient for the whole family in heaven, and in earth; and even the meanest and weakest believer may be said to have enough and to spare, because he has an interest in all these; though by reason of the weakness of his faith, it is but now and then he has a full and comfortable meal; but this is infinitely better than to be starving, as this man was:

and I perish with hunger. The Vulgate Latin, and all the Oriental versions add, "here"; in this far country, in the citizen's fields, among his swine, and their husks: all mankind are in a lost and perishing condition; for having sinned against God, they have exposed themselves to the curses of the law, and are destitute of a justifying righteousness, and are in the way, to ruin and destruction; but all are not sensible of it, being ignorant of God, and his righteousness, of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and of the insufficiency of their own righteousness; but some are sensible of it, and in their own apprehensions are ready to perish: these see sin in its true light, without a view of pardon; an angry God without a smile; injured justice without a righteousness; and a broken law without a satisfaction for the violation of it; and such was this man's case. The Jewish writers (a) say,

"a sinner is like to a son that runs away from his father, and turns his back upon him, who yet afterwards repents, and has a mind to return to his father's house:''

so it was now with the publicans and sinners, signified by this man.

(a) R. Chayim in Lib. Chayim, par. 4. c. 6. apud Maii Jud. Theolog. loc 15. p. 243.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

17. came to himself—Before, he had been "beside himself" (Ec 9:3), in what sense will presently appear.

How many hired, &c.—What a testimony to the nature of the home he had left! But did he not know all this ere he departed and every day of his voluntary exile? He did, and he did not. His heart being wholly estranged from home and steeped in selfish gratification, his father's house never came within the range of his vision, or but as another name for bondage and gloom. Now empty, desolate, withered, perishing, home, with all its peace, plenty, freedom, dignity, starts into view, fills all his visions as a warm and living reality, and breaks his heart.

Luke 15:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
16"And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17"But when he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18'I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight;…
Cross References
Psalm 119:59
I have considered my ways and have turned my steps to your statutes.

Hosea 2:7
She will chase after her lovers but not catch them; she will look for them but not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my husband as at first, for then I was better off than now.'

Luke 15:16
He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

Luke 15:18
I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.

Acts 12:11
Then Peter came to himself and said, "Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod's clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen."
Treasury of Scripture

And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

when.

Luke 8:35 Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found …

Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and sees Abraham …

Psalm 73:20 As a dream when one wakes; so, O Lord, when you wake, you shall despise …

Ecclesiastes 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that …

Jeremiah 31:19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was …

Ezekiel 18:28 Because he considers, and turns away from all his transgressions …

Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said …

Acts 16:29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and …

Acts 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

Acts 26:11-19 And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to …

Ephesians 2:4,5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us…

Ephesians 5:14 Why he said, Awake you that sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ …

Titus 3:4-6 But after that the kindness and love of God our Savior toward man appeared…

James 1:16-18 Do not err, my beloved brothers…

How.

Luke 15:18,19 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, Father, I …

Lamentations 1:7 Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries …

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